We’re back in action again tonight, with our NFL Division One Round 3 match against Cavan throwing in at MacHale at 7pm. Anthony Nolan of Wicklow is the ref for this one.
We’ve made the perfect start so far to this League campaign. Two wins from two starts mean we go into tonight’s game on top of the Division One table, with fears of relegation already receding and idle thoughts starting to stir about more lofty achievements this spring.
Cavan, by contrast, come to Castlebar this evening seeking their first League points of the year. Two defeats – both narrow ones – leave them with significant worries about the drop and they know all too well that those concerns will be amplified if they lose this evening as well.
That makes the Breffni men dangerous opponents tonight. They’re sure to deploy the kind of deep-lying defensive formation we find hard to break down – especially in the tight confines of MacHale Park – and so we could easily get sucked into a dour struggle for supremacy.
It’s important we retain the focus that has helped us get the two wins we have under our belts this year. Despite the tough going two weeks ago against Roscommon we never panicked and gradually took control the longer the match went on. Last Sunday up in Omagh we were patient for the first twenty minutes and then, when Tyrone, slackened off a bit, we moved in quickly for the kill.
If we operate tonight with the same kind of high tempo – a style James Horan always seeks in the teams he sends out to play – this should mean that we’ll ask serious questions of Cavan. The quicker we get at them and start to open them up, the better. A good start for us will force them out of their defensive shell, at which point further chances should appear for us.
We’re favourites to win tonight and win we should. But League football remains a great leveller: last Sunday proved this with our unexpected win over strong favourites Tyrone. We shouldn’t forget either that the last time a winless Cavan came to town – two years ago – they left MacHale Park with the spoils, despite the fact that we enjoyed a positive start that day.
So, the less we think about where we are in the table and what possibilities a win tonight might create for us, the greater it’ll help to keep our focus firmly on the task in hand. Which is a simple one – stay tuned in and drive on to another win. If we manage that, what may or may not come after for us will look after itself.
I’m hitting the road west in a bit and looking forward to being in MacHale Park this evening. If you’re on the road yourself today, take it handy and make sure you make it to Castlebar in one piece and in plenty of time to get a good seat for what promises to be another tough League fixture.
Here’s to continuing this positive start to the year, here’s to driving on and getting another win under our belts. Winning is a habit so let’s keep this winning feeling going. Up Mayo.